Is Marc-Andre Fleury really a fit for the Flames?

Marc-Andre Fleury was putting together a pretty good season before a concussion on March 31 sidelined him for a month. By the time he was taking full part in practices again, Matt Murray had already won a playoff round.

Fleury ultimately only played two games en route to the Penguins’ fourth Stanley Cup: the first he came in as relief during a 4-0 seemingly hopeless cause; the second, he lost with a .840 save percentage.

And thus, things seem clear for the Penguins. Murray is the guy now, and Fleury might have to go. Ideally, they keep him around as the season starts, in case Murray falters – but the expansion draft could also force things, as the Penguins would have to protect Fleury over Murray.

Fleury isn’t meant to be a backup, though. And there are just a few teams in the league who need a starting goaltender, Calgary chief among them. It’s a match made in heaven.

… Or is it?

Let’s talk contract

If the Flames are after Fleury – and it has been reported Brad Treliving has discussed him (though it’s Treliving, so he wouldn’t be doing his job if he wasn’t at least exploring the possibility) – then they’re after his contract, too.

Marc-Andre Fleury is under contract for another three years at a $5.75 million cap hit. He’s a November birthday, so he’ll turn 32 early into next season; he’ll be 34 years old by the time his contract ends. He also has a history of concussions.

That is a lot of cap space committed to a good goalie – for now. Fleury has rebounded over the past couple of seasons, but just as with any professional athlete, he’s going to be susceptible to age. When that strikes is yet to be determined, but if it happens during this contract – and the Flames are on the hook for an expensive, declining goalie – then is that really ideal?

Say Jon Gillies is ready to go sooner rather than later. Would Fleury not be put in the same position as he appears to be in Calgary: stuck behind a 2012 draft pick? Obviously we can’t count on Gillies being ready so quickly – but should the possibility of stranding him behind Fleury (or vice versa) not be considered if they have faith in their prospect?

The Pens are up against the salary cap, so this isn’t even really a chance for the Flames to offload a bad contract. And even if it was: Dennis Wideman’s expires after next season; Fleury’s goes on for another two after. There’s no contract-for-contract deal to be had here at all.

Let’s talk age

The Calgary Flames are a young team. They even just hired one of the youngest head coaches in the NHL to go with them. This is a team that’s growing and coming together; one in which Mark Giordano (who will be 33 when the 2016-17 season starts) is the odd man out of the core because he’s 6-12 years older than the rest of them

Fleury is just one year younger than him. Your starting goalie is a crucial part of the team, but Fleury already doesn’t even fit in with this core.

He’s not a bad goalie. He’s really not. But he might become one as his contract comes to an end. The Flames should be entering their prime competing window during it, and if things do go south, does it really make sense to have an aging goalie who very well may not be part of their future plans taking up nearly $6 million in cap space?

Let’s talk options

In this case, beggars absolutely can be choosers.

The Flames need a new goalie. There’s no disputing this; they literally don’t have any signed. (A handful of prospects don’t count: you know they aren’t jumping in the NHL next season.)

Toronto is the only other team in this predicament. It’s a buyer’s market, and that means the Flames have tons of options they can explore.

There are other guys in similar situations to Fleury, such as Jimmy Howard or maybe even Mike Smith. There’s Ben Bishop, who is almost 30 himself, but at the end of his contract and not yet locked in for a while. There’s Brian Elliott, who is significantly cheaper. There’s Frederik Andersen, who fits right in with the Flames’ age group.

There’s James Reimer, who’s relatively young, has put up some good seasons, and wouldn’t cost a thing in a trade, because he’s a free agent.

Why would the Flames go after an aging goaltender with a concussion history signed to an expensive contract when they can go after virtually anybody else?

    • Burnward

      Wow.

      That down on him eh guys?

      Surprised.

      Contract is manageable, tonnes of experience and fits the timeframe for Gillies to take over.

      Plus he seems to be an awesome dude that wouldn’t mess with chemistry.

  • piscera.infada

    Fleury makes sense for a couple of reasons. He’s likely to be considerably cheaper to acquire than either Andersen or Bishop. You don’t have to worry about resigning him as a UFA as you would in Bishop’s case. Andersen’s extension as an RFA is also likely to be similar in terms of dollars as well. In addition, Fleury is only signed for three more years. The chances of him imploding to below-starting calibre over the course of two seasons is minuscule–remember, he had a good season this year until injury. Even if he does, that risk is mitigated by only being singed for two years.

    The only goalie likely cheaper than Fleury to acquire is the Reimer. Problem with Reimer is that he hasn’t started 40 or more games in his career. Now, I’m sure he probably can be a consistent starter for the bulk of an NHL season, but if you’re going to have to overpay him as an unrestricted free agent in either dollars, term, or both, don’t you want to be sure?

    Granted, one can very easily argue the Fleury’s ceiling is the lowest in all likelihood, and that’s entirely fair. He also appears to be the cheapest in terms of opportunity-cost, and he’s also fairly low-risk. Stability above all else is truly what the Flames need in a goaltender right now–Fleury can offer that, while still allowing for some flexibility in the near future.

    Also, isn’t Elliott off the market? I’m fairly certain Doug Armstrong said that he will be back with the Blues next season. It’s probably the safe move in a year they’re going to make a real push for a cup in Hitchock’s final season.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      Solid points and I largely agree. The problem with Fluery has nothing to do with ability or long term risk (play-wise). The problem is that he would have to be shoehorned into an organization near the top end of the cap with 2 young studs that need the be signed. If the Penguins want to move Fleury to Calgary, the Pens will have to pay to do so. Taking Wideman is just the start, since this alone adds more cap challenges for Trelliving. A draft pick doesn’t really do enough either, and I personally would be asking for a solid prospect for a current (relatively) expensive and expendable forward, plus Wideman. Think 2 salary dumps in return for a good goalie and a highend prospect.

      Again the only way that Fleury is in Calgary is if Trelliving wins the trade and he can get more cap space over the next 3 years. If this doesn’t happen there are lots of other options, in a buyers market.

      • supra steve

        “The problem is that he would have to be shoehorned into an organization near the top end of the cap”

        What goaltender is available that will be:

        A)a proven starter?

        B)way better cap-wise?

        C)cheaper (asset wise) to aquire?

        If the Flames could move Wideman for Flower, then everything fits this year, and next year the club has a lot more cap space opening up.

      • piscera.infada

        I just honestly don’t see a goalie who is both the “significant upgrade” people are looking for, and cheaper in terms of coast of acquisition and cap-space.

        I should state that I don’t mind Reimer, and I’d be happy with that signing provided you can keep the term of the contract low–I have my doubts about that. I also doubt that Treliving would view him as a “significant upgrade” simply because he hasn’t shown he can run with the ball as a de facto starter yet.

        I’ve said all along that Andersen or Bishop aren’t happening because they’ll prove too expensive. I don’t think Tampa will trade Vasilevskiy, because they aren’t in the same kind of expansion-draft risk–Bishop’s contract and by extension his NMC are finished in 2017, and thus he doesn’t need to be protected.

        So basically, it seems between Fleury and Reimer. I just don’t see the options people routinely trot out.

        • Baalzamon

          So basically, it seems between Fleury and Reimer. I just don’t see the options people routinely trot out.

          Well I mean there’s Mason/Neuvirth, Halak, Howard (ew), and Bobrovsky for starters. Bob is ridiculously expensive, but clearing that much cap for the Blue Jackets might knock the #3 overall loose. Never know.

          • piscera.infada

            I forgot Mason/Neuvirth. That’s true. One of those could be an option for sure.

            I just don’t believe the Isles will actually let Halak go. I get the whole Griess playoffs thing, but he’s not proven enough for a team that is in/approaching their “window”.

            Yeah, Howard, no thanks–for obvious reasons. And, if Fleury is a no go because “he’s too expensive”, how is Bobrovsky any better?

          • Baalzamon

            And, if we aren’t Fleury is a no go because “he’s too expensive”, how Bobrovsky any better?

            Well first of all I’m not against Fleury, I’m just mentioning other options.

            But two things about Bobrovsky:

            1. He’s four years younger.
            2. The third overall pick.
          • Bananaberg

            You forgot the 3rd and 4th things:

            3. $7.425/yr (3 more years) = most expensive player on team
            4. Amongst goalies who have player >80 games in the past 3 seasons (there are about 40 guys on that list), Bob’s SV% at 5v5 is about the midpoint (and below MAF, Bishop, Andersen, etc.), while about equal to Reimer.

            That said, I am with you on pursuing Puljujarvi. Completely. I just would rather get back salary in the form of a skater (Hartnell) instead of a goalie who looks like the second coming of Ilya Bryzgalov). I don’t see Bob fitting in with CGY’s culture and all of a sudden finding his Vezina form again.

          • Bananaberg

            Greiss was excellent during the regular season as well.

            and Halak gets injured just about every single year. I would be very surprised if Halak wasn’t readily available in a trade.

            Neuvirth would be interesting. He puts up good numbers when called on. Out of the “cheap options with upside” out there, he’s one of my favorites. Mason isn’t going anywhere but the PHI crease. His stats over the past 3 years are — surprisingly — top 10 in the league (see Corsica for comparisons).

            Howard = I’d rather re-sign Russell for $5.292mil/yr and have him wear goalie pads. I agree with you; Howard is no bueno.

        • everton fc

          Reimer’s had a few injuries, or he may very well have played 40 games. My fear is recurring groin injuries on a goaltender.

          Our cap situation makes things “delicate”, at best. Would the Pens take Wideman and Bouma, or Stajan, for Fleury? How does this hlep them??

        • KiLLKiND

          Ramo, Reimer, Johnson, Enroth why won’t you even mention these names as all fit the bill of cheaper to aquire and cheaper cap wise. Fine Reimer prices himself out of Calgary and signs in Toronto hypothetically. Now the remaining 3 goalies all have NHL experience and did pretty well last year. We can tell all of them we’ll sign one of you to a 2 year 3$ million contract. One of them will take it as the alternative is no contract. This is a buyers market we can buy for as low as we want, why handcuff ourselves to a goalie that got beat out by a 22 year old and if he comes here the same will likely happen?

          Best case scenario with a UFA I mentioned is that with a full season to work with he becomes the goalie we have been searching for since Kipper and all 3 have shown lots of potential but have never been given the starters role to run with. Enroth was well above average and was disappointed with how few starts he got, if we offer him a low $ and term contract, but have the guarantee of playing I’m sure he’ll take it. If he doesn’t Johnson will, upside of Johnson is the guy once broke DiPietro’s orbital bone in a fight and played fantastic on a really poor defensive Sabres team.

          Ramo also is a guy we can go back to, he did great when we gave him starts to run with and if it wasn’t for his injury he could already be penciled in as our starter for next year. Every positive thing about Fleary could be applied to Ramo, but better. Ramo could be a decent backup even when Gilles takes the reins. Cap freindly? Check. Good locker room guy/knows the team? check. There is not one thing about Fleury that suites the team better than Ramo, who is also Finnish, which matches up perfectly for him to mentor Ortio who also happens, to play the same style as Ramo, which would make life super easy on their goalie coach.

          Another point about Flower is he has only ever played on a pretty great team, he might not succeed when he is getting much higher danger scoring chances on a nightly basis.

          The other paragraphs I completely agree with minus your closing statement.

    • KiLLKiND

      Flower’s contract has 3 more years not 2, he will be as old as Hiller in the last year of his contract. The odds of Flower having another horrible or below average year is at least 33.33%. He is also just coming back from having two concussions in one year… How is he going to come back from that? We haven’t seen him play in a long time and the one game he did start in the playoffs was awful.

      Only goalie cheaper to aquire…… where did you arrive at that conclusion? There are at least 4 UFA goalies I would be perfectly happy to sign for much cheaper than Flower; Reimer, Ramo, Johnson, and Enroth. All of these will be much more cap friendly and allow BT more cap room next year when Oshie becomes a UFA. TJ Oshie is a top line RW set to become a UFA right when Calgary is rid of all their bad contracts, it sounds like a perfect match to me as long as we can afford him.

      You are right in that Flower does have the lowest ceiling of any goalie we can aquire not to mention, we probably have to give up assets for him. Fleury will not offer any stability in net, after 2 years Gilles will be ready for NHL time and Ortio will hopefully be ready to tandem with Gilles which leaves us on the hook for 5.75 mill on a goalie that doesn’t fit on our team. That is a lot on any goalie not to mention one that we would be best off burying in the AHL.

      Elliot is off the market, and will be a UFA next year, so if we sign Enroth to a 1 year deal we could get Elliot, who is also a better goalie than Fleury next off season.

      • piscera.infada

        You’re right about Fleury’s 3 more years–don’t know where I got 2, my bad.

        A few things here, though:

        There are at least 4 UFA goalies I would be perfectly happy to sign for much cheaper than Flower; Reimer, Ramo, Johnson, and Enroth.

        By what measures are we (or is Brad Treliving, for that matter) certain that Enroth, Johnson, or Ramo an actual upgrade on what was trotted out last year? None. I sense, you don’t like Fleury as a hockey player. That’s fine, but at least he has a fairly long track record as a starting NHL goaltender, with a history of above-average play.

        after 2 years Gilles will be ready for NHL time and Ortio will hopefully be ready to tandem with Gilles which leaves us on the hook for 5.75 mill on a goalie that doesn’t fit on our team.

        Look, you can’t have it both ways. If Gillies/Ortio are your “plan”, and you “plan” to have them platoon in the NHL in two years time, then why are you signing a goalie anyway? Signing Elliot in one year, certainly won’t be to a one-year deal. Andersen and Bishop aren’t going to be two-year acquisitions. Even Reimer is probably going to look for a 3-4 year deal.

        • KiLLKiND

          I actually really like Fleaury as a goalie and used to look up to him, I just think he would be a horrible fit on Calgary, especially for what we have to give up to get him, and his salary cap hit will be much more than I would want to pay any stop-gap goalie. I’m not looking at this in terms of who will be the best goalie next year or the year after, but in the much longer term in 5 years which goalie will have the cost the least and let Gilles develop? I am actually against trading for almost any goalie as the cost to aqquire for when I think Calgary will be ready to compete is not worht it. Even if Flower is great for the next 3 seasons what does that get us? It doesn’t get us the cup ad it limits our cap room to sign Oshie, and Bennett, the following year. So why give up any assets for a goalie that won’t be around when our team actually wants to go for the cup?

          Kevin suggested a 2nd AND a 3rd! We are a rebuilding team still, we need our draft picks to either spend on young players like Hamilton or draft players that can be great bottom 6 players like Rust, and Sheary were for the Penguins

          Enroth, has always been around average usually a little above but not enough to be considered a huge improvement, so not an improvment on Flower.

          Ramo has been ok and did well last year when given a string of starts, so not an improvement over Flower.

          3 of Johnson’s last 4 seasons have been well above average minus his short stint in NY. He could be an improvement. He is however already 30. For value he posted Fleury like numbers throughout his career and could be had for cheaper than Ramo, or Reimer.

          You are right I did trip myself up in signing Elliot/ having Ortio and Gilles tandem. If Elliot does make it be a UFA, I would like to trade Ortio like the Canucks traded Schneider or Lack. Ortio does not seem to have the potential Gilles does. Ortio could however have value as a young goalie with upside. I also think there is a strong chance Ortio gets selected by Las Vegas, as he will be a young goalie with upside who could backup or tandem with whoever else they get. Also if I was Vegas I would either pick him, Jokipakka, or Jooris from the Flames.

          Reimer will want longer term which is why I would rather just sign Ramo, he was fine with a 1 year last year and even if we have to give him 3 he would be cheaper cap wise to acquire and once again could be an asset to trade.

          So it’s not that I hate Fleaury, I just am very against trading for a goalie who will not be our starter when we intend to compete for the cup. Why give up a 2nd and 3rd for a goalie who might raise our draft spot by a couple of places, but never really get us anywhere? Goalies I would trade for; Pickard, Murray, Gudlevskis, and Vasilevsky. All will likely cost too much to aquire, besides we have Gilles, McDonald, Rittich, and Ortio one of them should turn out to be a starter.

        • Bananaberg

          Saying things like, “after 2 years Gillies will be ready for NHL time” is very wishful thinking, but not a guarantee to hang your hat on.

          As a Flames fan, I’m as hopeful as anyone here that one (or two) of our drafted goalies turns into an NHL-caliber puck-stopper. But with a team that made the playoffs last year (and would have made the playoffs this year with even league-average goaltending metrics), we need to be making decisions in net that give Gulutzan and the roster a chance at the post-season every year forward. Gillies ain’t helping for 2-4 years on that front, let’s be honest.

          Yes, he looks good and is trending well. But I can tell you that no NHL GM looks at his playoff-ready roster and says, “Well, I think the best play is to roll a goalie tandem like last year’s and see how the boys do”. ESPECIALLY after we wrote the book on horrible goaltending.

          Referencing Gillies is only useful if your GM is considering signing a starting goalie on an 8-year deal for huge dollars. And since we aren’t in VAN or PHI or NYI, I think we can sleep well at night knowing that we’re safe from that situation.

          • KiLLKiND

            @BananaBerg as well

            Why not include Gilles, in our plans moving forward? He is already 22 and has shown that even under lots pain he was able to post 2 shutouts and a .920 save percentage despite needing hip surgery in the AHL. I understand many believe goalies need longer to develop, but at 23 he will be knocking on the NHL’s door very soon. Keep in mind during his 3 years at Providence he was the best goalie in the NCAA, when Johnny Gaudreau finished 3 years of being the best player in the NCAA he was able to step right in and be among the best rookies and on our top line. Gilles may need 1 more year in the AHL, but saying we shouldn’t keep him in mind doesn’t make sense. We absolutely need to be thinking of when to move our prospects up the NHL and what will be best for his development. Sometimes players can stagnate if they play at the same level for too long without higher levels of competition. I think next season Gilles will be challenging for top goalie in the AHL and if not the season after he surely will.

            He is no longer a young prospect, and is very close to NHL ready, as for this season and next season I can see the argument of letting him get games and develop instead of sitting on the bench, but to have him in the AHL for 3 more seasons is too many.

            Also as far as saying we wrote the book on bad goaltending, it was Hiller, Ortio played around the level of call up goalie and after a slow start Ramo was fine. Backstrom the season was already over and it was very nice of the Flame to let him play a few games and retire in a game against Minnesota.

          • ChinookArchYYC

            @ Steve Suba

            I have no issue with Fluery as a starting goalie for the Flames next year. Frankly, he’s near the top of my list, all things being equal. I just believe it’s the Flames in the driver seat and not the Pens. As is stated by numerous others in this comment section, there are other options.

  • KiLLKiND

    Thank you so much! There is absolutely no reason to go after Flower! Literally almost any other goalie we can aquire will be better able to help us. Also Tampa is going to be in the same situation as Pittsburgh, yet nobody is really discussing Vasilevsky. The only reason I could see Calgary trading for MAF is if they pull a Chicago and package Olli Maatta.

    We can get a James Reimer who has posted better save percentages almost every year, cheaper, without giving up any assets and we can even dictate the length of the contract. If he doesn’t like it we can go to Ramo, Enroth, and Johnson doing the same thing until we get one on a deal we want. There is only 2 teams in the NHL looking for a goalie, us and Toronto. We have the power of leverage, because if they don’t sign with us or Toronto they don’t sign in the NHL.

    This is a buyers market for goalies and we should be shopping around. If a team thinks they need to offload a goalie before next season they should be calling us to get the problem conract off their hands the way Carolina did.

    Maybe we get Daniel Sprong and MAF for Wideman. Yes Fleaury’s contract is a lot worse, but we open up space on the backend and get a top notch RW prospect in Sprong. Pittsburgh will lose Murray if they don’t somehow get rid of Flower. Is that worth losing Sprong I think so especially if they are as high on Murray as they should be.

    • Kevin R

      Piscera.infada worded it as well as you can. Fleury makes perfect sense. St Louis can easily roll with their two goalies & you can’t drag Tampa in this conversation because Bishop is a UFA next year so they don’t have to decide between him & Vas until the end of the year. They can do a TDL deal or they can ride a playoff run with those two as well & still trade Bishop before the expansion draft & get value.

      MAF was having a great year last year as well. The guy is a former 1st OA & quite capable of taking our team to the playoffs next year. Gilles will be probably needing 2 years to ripen in Stockton & then Fleury can mentor him in his last year of that contract. It’s a no brainier & will probably only cost a 2nd & a 3rd rounder.

  • Greg

    At first glance, it seems a perfect fit. But looking at the Pens cap situation it doesn’t look like they have the ability to take salary back, which makes it questionable whether either team could really make it work. If the flames added fluery’s contract outright, and spend ~$14m on Gaudreau and Monahan’s contracts, they’ll be at the cap and unable to add the three forwards and 1 backup they still need just to ice a team. So if the flames take MAF for just picks, they’re going to have to offer a pretty paltry package (like 1 late 2nd) cause they’ll need some extras to help move their own contracts out.

    I think Pittsburgh is going to have to decide, assuming they do want to move him, whether they want assets or cap relief in exchange. Cause the flames can’t give them both, and I don’t see much of a market for him outside of Calgary.

  • Nighteyes

    I still think the Flames are better off pursuing a younger, cheaper option for goaltending. Trying to acquire a big name like MAF might not necessarily stabilize the net–we should pursue someone like Pickard. Martin Jones, Vasilevskiy and even Matt Murray (we’ll see how he plays next season) have shown that youth and relative inexperience can still translate into starter-style success. We also need to see how Ortio progresses next year, and so getting another young goalie will certainly give him more opportunity for playing time and experience.

    • Fat Tony

      He’s 31.. Not too old

      Actually he’s the perfect age for a transition goalie while Gillies continues to develop. That’s all that this is leading to, a guy who can come in for a few seasons and hold down the fort because we know that this organization is waiting on another guy to take over. In the mean time Fleury is a well rounded successful veteran who is the best candidate (of all the other potential goalies) to mentor a young Gillies until the end of his tenure, which ends in 3 seasons.

      Seems like a good fit to me

      FT

      • piscera.infada

        I think that’s the most salient point. If Gillies is still in your plans moving forward–which he should be–it should be about flexibility at the position. That said, you can’t put additional pressure on Gillies. You need to create a situation where if he needs to take 2 years in the AHL (which is entirely reasonable), you don’t have to force him into a role that’s over his head.

        Fleury is a well rounded successful veteran who is the best candidate (of all the other potential goalies) to mentor a young Gillies until the end of his tenure…

        This is the biggest sticking point for me. He can mentor Ortio next season–and still provide him with fairly adequate playing time. And whenever Gillies proves ready, he’ll be a good veteran presence there too.

        Of course, this all becomes a lot more difficult should Gillies not be exempt from the expansion draft, but all indications are that he will be.

  • Bananaberg

    Some facts:

    1) Flames missed playoffs last year
    2) Flames had league-worst goaltending last year
    3) Flames have a young core that is poised to improve, but a few need contracts (let’s be honest, on average, those deals will be $6.5-7mil for Johnny and Mony — AVERAGE OF THE TWO)
    4) Flames made the playoffs in the prior year
    5) Goaltenders help to keep pucks out of the net, which improves a team’s chances of winning a game
    6) No one — seriously, NO ONE — on this board has any idea when Gillies “will be ready” for the NHL. Or even IF. He’s a good looking prospect, but we should pump the brakes on saying things like “why would we sign a starting goalie with 3 years on his contract when Gillies will probably be ready by the end of that?!” If Gillies comes up, great. But that probability ain’t one hundo percent.

    Some opinions:

    1) Flames players — young and old(er) — benefit from playoff experience, in a big way (development wise)
    2) There is no reason to go with an Enroth or a Ramo or a Johnson as your starter when the player is nothing more than a proven backup. ESPECIALLY when there are only two teams actively buying goalies (CGY + TOR) and expansion is looming. I’m not saying MAF is my first choice (Andersen is my first choice), but I am saying that the Flames would be a better team (who probably would’ve been in the playoffs last year) if we had MAF on the roster instead of Dennis the Ref Menace! I want our guys developing (ie. making the playoffs every year).
    3) We have some serious cap considerations going forward to avoid the sh1t show that teams like CHI/LA/etc. face every offseason. But we also have Treliving. And we have lots of picks, which means we will have lots of interest from other teams looking to make deals. We are in a good position. Nay, a great position.

    If BT brings in MAF via trade, expect it to be salary cap neutral (or positive), and to be well below the fair value of what PIT could’ve got for MAF at the deadline, or last summer, or before the Vegas expansion talks became more real. And you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll only do the deal after he’s talked to every other goalie selling team and priced their assets accordingly.

    MAF + 3rd rounder (or better) for Wideman + CGY retain $1-2MM (FOR ONE SINGLE YEAR) would be great. BUT only if we couldn’t offer Wideman and some salary retention or picks to get a better proven goalie from someone else. Or if there wasn’t a better deal to be struck before/at the draft for a proven guy…like, say Freddy Brathwaite. It’s about getting value for the assets, but importantly it’s about getting value while also fixing problems with the current roster.

    GFG

  • Flamethrower

    Everyone sits and stews over contracts. Moving players via trades or moving prospects or for that matter draft picks…if another club has themselves in cap problems it is not up to our club pay thru the nose. Yes we may want someone but that does not mean sell your complete future to get it! Teams mdy have to eat portions of contracts just the same I’m sure we will have to do with Wideman. Andersson is the goalie we should be going after still young enough, be able to negotiate a decent contract and still be able to trade away for a return when Gillies is ready to step up if need be.

  • Juan Valdez

    All of this talk about acquiring another goaltender is getting ridiculous. The reason Ortio didn’t do well because he had a bad couple games at the beginning of the season and it shattered his confidence. The real problem was the team playing in front of him.

    I’d laugh if the Pens traded MAF because Murray sucks. I watched the finals against the Sharks and he was letting in a soft goal every game where the Sharks hand-cuffed him by shooting the puck glove side just under his arm.

      • smatic10

        Exactly. A lot of people would overlook that and think Tree failed by not acquiring Anderson. He’s not willing to overpay even when he’s in a position of need. Flames have a decent amount of leverage now being the only team that really needs a goalie.

        • Baalzamon

          A lot of people already are. Look on twitter. I haven’t seen that much ignorance since the Flames traded Russell (lots of people thought Hamilton should have been traded instead…).

          • Kevin R

            Dude, yes I would have really liked to have gotten a shot at acquiring Andersen but no way no how was Anaheim prepared to give the Flames Andersen unless it was for the #6 overall. Anaheim can go freaking pound. This is no different than when Oilers offered Vancouver the 7th overall & Marancin for Cory Schneider & Vanc instead traded him to Jersey for the #9. The look at the Oiler draft table was priceless when Bettman announced that trade. Your posts are just being ridiculous. BT being schooled, yeah right. Not.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            Ever heard of a 3-way?

            Ducks are in cap hell. Plus with an expansion draft in the near future, they had to move Anderson.

            Strategic trading only happens when rival clubs are comparable in strength. This is not the case with the Ducks and Flames. Ducks are ready to win now. The Flames are not. Do you really believe that Anderson on the Flames was going to tip the balance of power from Anaheim to Calgary in just one or two seasons?

            If Tre truly wanted Anderson–and why wouldn’t he want a young keeper who can grow with a young team rather than some old tart who will cost a fortune and be ready for pasture when the team actually gets good–then he indeed failed to cash in. Might have tried and might have been close but he ultimately failed. And now the Flames are still being linked to old goats MAF and Jimmy Howard and Leafs’ castoff JR.

          • smatic10

            Your “balance of power” argument is pure nonsense. Doesn’t matter what stage of development either team is at, trading within the division is risky. The only way the Ducks would have likely done it is if Tree overpaid (i.e. paid with MORE than what the Leafs gave up for him). I’m sure Tree could have acquired Andersen, but he was smart in not giving up too much. That’s smart asset management.

            And now apart from maybe Dallas, the Flames are pretty much the only team in the market for a starting goalie. That means the destinations for Reimer, Fleury, Elliot, Johnson, Enroth, Bishop etc are limited.

            If the UFA’s want to play starter minutes in the NHL, they can’t just walk up to Calgary and go “I’ll play for you guys, but you have to pay me 12 mil a season for 20 years”. The response would be “Uh no. You don’t really have a place to go. We’ll sign you for two years at 3 mil per”.

            How about a trade conversation? “Hey Tree, it’s Jimmy Rutherford calling, we’ll give you Fleury for your 6th overall pick, Andersson, Kylington, and Bennett” “No. Expansion draft is coming up so you need to make a choice. You want something for him? Take a bad contract back along with this late second rounder.”

            I’d rather have any of the above listed goaltenders for short term and dollar value than giving up a ton for Andersen AND THEN signing him for 5 years at 5 mil per.

            So no, Tree did not fail.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            All trades involve risk. In a roundabout and creative way last June, the Sharks acquired Marty Jones from the Kings via the Bruins. Sharks paid a step price to get him but was he worth it this past season?

            Absolutely there will be deals on goalies to be had, but the strategy of swapping a bad contract for a goalie with a bad contract is not exactly visionary. It is any port in a storm thinking. Wides for MAF looks good but when you think MAF’s hefty contract extends two years past Wideman’s it doesn’t look so good.

            Giving 2 years at $4.5M per to Hiller didn’t look too bad to many at the time of the deal because the Flames goaltending cupboard was bare, and 2 years will fly past, right? That didn’t work out to well for Cal did it?

            Do you believe at the time he was a FA, a fierce bidding war took place for Engelland for that would explain why Tre signed him to a contract that even at the time seemed excessive? I doubt there was any war. Tre was bidding against himself and ended up overpaying the guy.

            Beware of a goalie trade or any trade for that matter in the cap era that will excite an accountant but make hockey people scratch their head.

  • GodsGotSandals

    Looks like the leafs are no longer in the goalie market. So the flames are the only team still looking for a goalie guess that gives them some bargaining power.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    The Leafs escaped with the loot while the Flames were watching them, so much for standing on guard.

    Funny how Matt Stajan, Dennis Wideman and a 3rd rounder weren’t enough to get it done, but we do live in the real world.

    Is this deal going to make Tre stupid and cause him to foolishly deal for an overpriced old hack like Fleury or Jimbo Howard? Let’s hope not.

    How bad

    are the optics when the Leafs acquire one of the highest-touted young goalies in the gamed the Flames settle for ex-Leaf scapegoat Jimmy Reimer? If the Leafs have been making all the right moves since Lou Lou and Babs took over, including jettisoning JR, then why would Reimer be the right move for the Flames except possibly from the perspective of an accountant?

  • BlueMoonNigel

    The Leafs escaped with the loot while the Flames were watching them, so much for standing on guard.

    Funny how Matt Stajan, Dennis Wideman and a 3rd rounder weren’t enough to get it done, but we do live in the real world.

    Is this deal going to make Tre stupid and cause him to foolishly deal for an overpriced old hack like Fleury or Jimbo Howard? Let’s hope not.

    How bad

  • Greg

    I’d be totally comfortable with a Reimer and Ortio duo to start next year. I’d take fleury for a late 2nd and 3rd, or an early 2nd and late 2nd if there’s salary going back. Otherwise, sit tight and wait for July 1.

  • Nighteyes

    Agreed, getting Andersen would be extremely costly for an intra-divisional trade; I expect it would have taken #6 a 2nd rounder, and probably a mid-level prospect. There are still a ton of options out there, in Tre we trust.

  • RealMcHockeyReturns

    Great! Andersen gone, so now TO may want to move Bernier so if we don’t overpay for him, he has just one year left so will need to earn a new contract or we just move on. Leafs can use Wideman as short on experienced D and even Bouma for some grit and checking and tertiary scoring.

    • Kevin R

      I could actually get behind Wideman for Bernier straight across, no salary kept, if Tre was really on his game he would get them to flip the 31 for our 35 too. :-}

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Wasn’t Bernier supposed to trip the light fantastic upon leaving LA? It hasn’t happened yet. Isn’t he just a more expensive version of Ramo? The last place Leafs have seen fit to relegate him as a backup or trade fodder.

      A plug like Bernier would just take playing time away from Ortio, whose ceiling the Flames still don’t know.

      Wides for Bernier would just be a salary swap with short-term implications. Shouldn’t the Flames have a farther-reaching vision? Sign Gaudreau and Monahan long term but then bring in a plug netmider. Seems counter-intuitive if you buy the belief that you build a team from the net out.

  • freethe flames

    The question now is who holds the power; the Flames as the only obvious team shopping for a starter or the goalies that are UFA’s? Do the teams with goalies to trade now try and hold BT hostage? Personally I have no problem with signing one of the top 3 remaining UFA’s on a one or two year low cost deal(need someone to expose for the draft), I also wonder about signing of 2 them and moving Ortio. Or trying to make a trade for someone’s young back up for Ortio(+). Again my preference is get one of the UFA’s at a low cost(prove it) contract that allows the Flames to use their assets in other ways.

  • freethe flames

    There are in my mind 5 leading alternatives:

    MAF: the only proven starter.

    32 58 GP 9.21 S%, GA 2.29 $5.75m x3 plus the cost of assets

    Reimer: has never played enough games to be called a starter but close.

    27 40 GP @9.15 S% GA @2.40 $2.3 UFA no assets

    Johnson: career back up who played 45 games last year for Buffalo
    30 45 9.20 S% GA 2.36 $1.3 UFA no assets

    Kuemper: career back up with the Wild

    25 21 GP 9.15S% GA 2.43 $1.25m plus assets

    Enroth: career back up has played over 40 games

    27 16 GP 9.22S% GA 2.17 $1.25m no assets

    When I look at those options I would be fine with any of the UFA’s over MAF. Yes it’s a risk but depending on the salary hit I might try to get two of them and move Ortio.(MAF because of age and concussion issues is a risk as well) Kuemper for me might be an option as the back up if we moved Ortio.

  • reidja

    Fluery to the Flames for Wideman with a few spare pieces going back and fourth. Flames trade up to #3 and take on Hartnel for a bunch of picks a roster player (Colburn?) and a prospect. This is what I would love to hear this week. Poor Flames scouts would be devistated for the second year in a row.